PUSH Physical Theatre part of collaborative opera premiering in both countries

Rochester, N.Y., October 10, 2016 – Walls that separate people and ideas have no place in the arts, and there’s no better example of that than a collaborative, multi-media opera premiering in both the U.S. and Mexico next month.

“Don’t Blame Anyone (No Se Culpe)” is the result of cross-border collaboration between Rochester, NY’s PUSH Physical Theatre and the Eastman School of Music, with Mexico’s El Arte de los Titeres, Secretaria de Cultura and its Universidad de Guadalajara.

The spectacular production, which explores the birth, growth, and death of the elusive “creative idea,” includes original live music, puppets, physical theatre, and visual art. Its world premiere will take place in the Eastman School of Music’s Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on November 16; its Mexico premiere will be at Teatro Diana in Guadalajara, Mexico on November 24, 2016.

The 10-scene, multimedia opera was inspired by original drawings by internationally acclaimed Mexican illustrator/cartoonist José Ignacio Solórzano (“JIS”), with narrative inspiration drawn from celebrated Mexican poet Raúl Aceves.

Award-winning Eastman faculty members and Mexican natives Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon and Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez composed the opera, which will be performed by Eastman’s BroadBand Ensemble. Famed American soprano and new music pioneer Tony Arnold plays “the author,” who toils throughout the performance to create a significant work as she faces the specter of the blank page. “Don’t Blame Anyone” also incorporates video art by Xuan Zhang.

Life-size abstract puppets designed by Antonio Camacho and Olga Gamez of La Coperacha, one of the oldest theater groups in Mexico, combine with Rochester physical illusionists, PUSH Physical Theatre. The groups come together on stage to represent a variety of characters, from “ideas in the making” to a human staircase. In addition, PUSH Physical Theatre Artistic Director Darren Stevenson developed the opera’s original choreography.

“The creative process has been truly collaborative at every stage of development,” says Stevenson, who made several trips to Mexico to work on the project, and works closely with partners via the internet and audio/visual recordings. “Each artist came to the project with a unique vision as well as an open mind, and the final work is a careful balance of music, movement, set, costume and prop design that manages to be both spectacular and intimate at the same time.”